Kadena Eagles participate in ATR

by Airman 1st Class Emily A. Bradley, 36th Wing Public Affairs
Andersen Air Force Base

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- Members of the 44th Fighter Squadron, 909th Air Refueling Squadron and 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron, along with aircraft assigned to Kadena Air Base, Japan, arrived here June 18, as part of a four week ATR, or aviation training relocation program.

The ATR is an opportunity for Kadena Airmen to improve their skills with less noise restrictions in several strategic operational sets and integrate with Andersen Airmen to promote cohesion within the Pacific Air Forces.

"Operating in Guam gives us the chance to practice mission sets we typically can't replicate around Okinawa," said Maj. Brett Faber, 44th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations. "We have the perfect combination of assets out here for everyone to train as you would fight in the real world."

The training increases the readiness capabilities of approximately 200 maintainers, 30 pilots and 15 support Airmen to respond to potential threats by performing as they would in daytime and nighttime real-world scenarios throughout Guam's airspace.

"This kind of training helps our unit work as a cohesive team ... (the maintainers) are out there ready for anything that may happen," said Chief Master Sgt. Ramel Haley, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit superintendent. "Without the maintainers there to prepare the aircraft, there would be no successful missions."

Kadena pilots will get the chance to train with Airmen and B-52 Stratofortresses assigned to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, who are deployed here from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to fulfill the continuous bomber presence mission, a long-standing deterrent capability for the Asia-Pacific region.

"Being face-to-face with Airmen we have typically only conversed with over the phone really strengthens our relationships with other Airmen within the region," Faber said. "Real world outcome is based on us training to the maximum extent while we are here."

The units are expected to return to Okinawa in the middle of July.

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